3409 Worker

This installation appropriates the way in which machines monitor and intervene in public spaces, making a polyhedral reflection about their impact on society.

The urban management and surveillance systems implemented as part of the Smart City concept were originally designed to attract capital, and have further increased the number of surveillance cameras and the sophistication of their images. The incessant visual flow that is produced requires processing and has exceeded human capacity; there are not enough eyes to see and give meaning to so many images. Today, machines no longer simply take photos but are also occupied with analysis, identification and labelling, creating a closed circuit of images created by and for machines.

3409 Worker reveals computer vision, the scientific discipline that uses computers to emulate the ability of human eyes and the brain to see and understand the world. In this video piece, the contemporary city is seen by an artificial neural network programmed to identify different elements of the urban landscape. The logic that the machine uses in its identification process becomes evident when framing, decontextualizing and enumerating what it recognizes: 30,344 people, 9,354 cars, 3,049 workers… It is an exercise that brings us closer to the method with which automated systems on city streets look at and assimilate the citizens who circulate in public spaces.